Blankets containing rape convict self-styled godman Asaram Bapu's photograph was allegedly distributed among the inmates of jail in Uttar Pradesh's Shahajahanpur district, about 175 kilometres from Lucknow, leaving the authorities red-faced.
Asaram is currently serving life sentence after being found guilty by a Jodhpur court for rape of a 16-year-old girl in his ashram six years ago. The rape victim hailed from Shahajahanpur.
According to the sources, the disciples of Asaram distributed blankets, which contained photograph of the self styled godman, among jail imates a few days ago.
Incidentally, the two disciples, who were on the forefront of distribution of the blankets, were accused in the murder of a witness in the rape case against Asaram.
Sources said that the district jail officials admitted that blankets were sent for distribution among the prisoners by Asaram's ashram in the state capital.
The father of the rape victim had strongly reacted to the incident and demanded punishment for the guilty officials. ''It is very humiliating and shocking....how can the jail officials allow such thing?'' said a relative of the victim's family.
Taking a serious view of the incident, the state government ordered a probe into the matter and a DIG level official was handed over the inquiry, sources said.
''It is a serious matter...we will take stern action against the jail officials if their involvement in the incident is proved,'' said a senior government official on Wednesday.